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The ex-head of major Chinese bank receives a suspended death sentence

Tian Huiyu, a former president of China Merchants Bank, was found guilty of bribery, insider trading and abuse of power by a mainland Chinese court.

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PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

A Chinese court handed a suspended death sentence to an ex-president of China Merchants Bank (CMB) on Monday. Tian Huiyu was found guilty of amassing more than 500 million yuan (560 million patacas) through corruption and illegal dealings.

The veteran banker’s crimes spanned “bribery, the abuse of power by a member of a state-owned company, use of non-public information for trading, insider trading and disclosure of insider information,” according to a CCTV report on the verdict, reached by the Intermediate People’s Court in Changde city, Hunan province.

Tian’s suspended death sentence comes with a two-year reprieve, meaning he’s unlikely to be executed. Under Chinese law, this type of sentence is automatically converted into life imprisonment after the person convicted spends two years on death row without committing further crimes.

[See more: Macao’s anti-corruption watchdog sees its powers broadened]

Along with a suspended death sentence, Tian was faced with complete seizure of his financial assets, deprivation of all political rights and fines totalling 308.5 million yuan (345.3 million patacas).

Tian became president of Shenzhen-headquartered CMB in 2013, after an illustrious career that included a four-year stint as prominent politician Wang Qishan’s undersecretary in the nineties. He was removed from CMB’s top job and stripped of his Chinese Communist Party membership in 2022, after China’s anti-corruption authority began an investigation into his alleged criminal activities. 

The fallen financial bigwig’s sentencing was part of President Xi Jinping’s wider campaign to crack down on corruption in sectors including finance, infrastructure and energy. Other top bankers to see their fortunes turn of late have included the ex-chairman of China Everbright Group, Li Xiaopeng, and Bank of China’s former chairman, Liu Liange.

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